How Long Does Adderall Stay in Your System?

Adderall is a prescription stimulant medication. Doctors may prescribe Adderall to people with an attention deficit disorder or other medical conditions. Adderall can help reduce symptoms of ADHD, other attention disorders, and narcolepsy.

Adderall is safe when people take it exactly as prescribed. However, people may use Adderall without a prescription because they like the way it makes them feel. Some people take stimulants, including Adderall, to give them more energy or to help them stay focused on tasks for longer periods.

People who misuse Adderall may develop physical dependence or addiction to it. It is essential to know the signs of Adderall addiction and to seek treatment as quickly as possible.

This article will explore Adderall abuse and addiction and how long drug testing can detect Adderall. If you or someone in your life struggles with Adderall abuse or addiction, contact the specialists at The Best Treatment now to schedule an intake assessment or learn about our programs.

What is Adderall?

Adderall is a prescription stimulant drug. It contains amphetamine and dextroamphetamine. Doctors sometimes prescribe stimulant medications like Adderall to help patients manage attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and other conditions.

The active ingredients in Adderall increase activity in the central nervous system (CNS) and affect the areas of the brain related to impulse control and hyperactivity.

Some people take Adderall recreationally (without a prescription). Adderall abuse is most common among adolescents and young adults. People who misuse Adderall may like the drug’s stimulant effects. They may also believe that Adderall can help them study for longer periods.

When people take Adderall for a long time, their bodies may adjust to it. After some time, they may find that they need to take more Adderall to get the desired effects. This can lead people to take larger doses of Adderall than prescribed.

Heavy or prolonged Adderall use can lead to physical dependence or addiction. Physical dependence means a person’s body cannot function without a drug. People who become addicted to Adderall often need professional help to stop taking it and avoid relapse.

Understanding the Effects of Adderall

People with ADHD may notice significant improvements in their disruptive symptoms when they take Adderall. Like other drugs, Adderall can cause other side effects.

Adderall’s side effects include:

  • Stomach pain
  • Loss of appetite
  • Weight loss
  • Anxiety
  • Changes in mood
  • Elevated heart rate
  • Headache
  • Insomnia
  • Dizziness
  • Dry mouth

People who misuse Adderall have a higher risk of unwanted side effects. Adderall misuse includes:

  • Taking a higher dose than prescribed
  • Taking Adderall more frequently than prescribed
  • Using Adderall differently than prescribed, such as crushing and snorting pills
  • Taking Adderall without a prescription

Abusing Adderall can cause it to build up in the system, resulting in longer detection times on drug tests.

Some people may develop more severe side effects when abusing Adderall, including:

  • Slowed speech
  • Dizziness
  • Fainting
  • Pounding heart
  • Chest pain
  • Numbness in the arms and legs
  • Difficulty swallowing or breathing
  • Shortness of breath
  • Blisters or peeling skin
  • Verbal or physical tics
  • Seizures

Some people may develop severe mental health effects, including delusional thinking or hallucinations (seeing or hearing things that are not there). It is important to seek treatment for Adderall abuse as soon as you recognize a problem.

Recognizing Adderall Abuse and Addiction

Adderall abuse can cause noticeable changes in a person’s mood, appearance, and behaviors. Some of the signs of Adderall abuse include:

  • Excessive talkativeness
  • Impatience
  • Nervousness
  • Anxiety
  • Excessive worry and overthinking
  • Increased social behaviors
  • Difficulty falling asleep or waking frequently
  • Headaches
  • Tremors in one area of the body
  • Libido changes
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Weight loss
  • Constipation
  • Diarrhea

If you or someone you love exhibits signs of Adderall abuse or addiction, seek treatment as soon as possible to avoid more complications.

How Long Does Adderall Stay in the Body?

Adderall is typically taken orally and then absorbed in the gastrointestinal tract. Some of it is deactivated in the liver or eliminated from the body via urine. However, approximately 20-25% of the medication is converted into the metabolites hippuric acid and benzoic acid. These metabolites can be detected by various types of drug tests.

How quickly Adderall is eliminated from the body depends greatly on the pH of a person’s urine. Someone with a low urine pH may eliminate the drug faster than someone with a high urine pH.

Other factors that can affect how long Adderall stays in the system include:

  • What dose of Adderall was taken
  • How long and how often Adderall is taken
  • When the last dose was taken
  • The person’s age, weight, and gender
  • Kidney or liver problems
  • Using alcohol or other drugs
  • Individual health, metabolism, and physiology

How Long Does Adderall Stay in Your System? (Urine, Blood, Saliva, and Hair)

When people take Adderall, it travels to the gastrointestinal tract and is absorbed into the bloodstream. The liver metabolizes the drug, and the byproducts leave the body in the urine.

Several testing methods can detect Adderall. Here is a brief rundown of how long it can be detected.

Urine tests

Urine tests can detect Adderall in urine for 72 to 96 hours after your last dose.

Blood testing

Blood tests may be able to detect Adderall for up to 46 hours after your last dose.

Saliva testing

Saliva tests may be able to detect Adderall for up to 50 hours after your last dose.

Hair testing

Medical professionals rarely use hair tests to screen for drugs. However, hair testing can detect Adderall for up to 90 days after your last dose.

Several factors can affect how long Adderall can be detected. These include your body composition, age, general health, and other substances you’ve used at the same time.

Find Adderall Addiction Treatment

Adderall abuse and addiction have a high potential for serious physical and mental health complications. Don’t wait to get the help you need. At The Best Treatment, we offer Adderall addiction treatment plans that will give you a fresh start. Contact our team now to learn more or schedule an intake assessment.

Medically Reviewed: September 25, 2019

Dr Ashley

Medical Reviewer

Chief Editor


All of the information on this page has been reviewed and verified by a certified addiction professional.

Dr Ashley Murray obtained her MBBCh Cum Laude in 2016. She currently practices in the public domain in South Africa. She has an interest in medical writing and has a keen interest in evidence-based medicine.

All of the information on this page has been reviewed and verified by a certified addiction professional.